Hastings Old Town is now short of one of its most flamboyant and enduring characters with the passing of Pat Mitchell on Saturday August 17.
Pat, known to everyone as ‘Pat the Hat’ had been ill and had spent a period in the Conquest Hospital.
People unfamiliar with the Old Town could be forgiven for thinking they had gone back in time to the Wild West if they popped into the Dolphin pub at Rock-a-Nore.
Pat would be sitting at his usual table authentically dressed as a Wester gunslinger, complete with hat, waistcoat and necktie and often with a replica six-shooter placed on the table in front of him.
Always dapper, Pat lived up to his appearance and was described by many as ‘the perfect gentleman’
Pat had an incredible passion and a wild enthusiasm for life and threw himself into everything one hundred percent. When not dressed as a cowboy Pat could also pull off the Gangsta Rapper appearance, complete with New York style hat and dripping with bling.
He was one of the most friendly people you could meet, addressing strangers as ‘my friend’ and would love to pose for pictures with people.
Pat featured in many photo-shoots with his friend Marcus Lamb-Bentley capturing some fantastic pictures of him in his outfits.
He also featured prominently in the Lord Nelson pub’s annual calendar, in wich local photographer Paddy Boyle would bring scenes from history to life, which included local pub-goers and characters.
Owners of the Dolphin pub Mark and Maureen Little said: “We were saddened to hear of his passing. Pat was such a big character here at the Dolphin and will be sorely missed by us all. Sleep tight friend.”
There was a big social media response to Pat’s passing. One local woman commented: “So sad to hear this. He was such a polite man - a true gentleman.”
Glenn Veness, known for his great films of Old Town life, said: “Pat was a legend and a true gentleman. One of the Old Town’s true characters. We will miss you.”
Local musician and Hastings Beatles Day founder Pete Prescott said: “So sad, he was a real character, lovely guy. He was always kind to me.”
Pat loved all types of music and would always show his support for the many local bands that play in the Old Town, particularly at the Dolphin and Lord Nelson.
His many interests included film, books and history. Even while in hospital he was sharing his enthusiasm on social media for the writer Earnest Hemingway.
Main picture by Marcus Lamb-Bentley and Pat in his favourite corner of the Dolphin pub at Rock-a-Nore.